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Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau: 1968-2000 Hardcover – October 13, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

"This book now becomes the standard biography of Trudeau for the sheer scope and thoroughness of the research on all major aspects of Trudeau’s life. English is even-handed, rarely praising, blaming or psychologizing, but he explains and invokes all the different views on the events recounted. And it’s a good read."
— The Globe and Mail

"English’s biography of Trudeau . . . will surely stand for some time as the definitive account of the oft-told tale. . . . Other books may yet be written about Pierre Elliott Trudeau, but it’s hard to imagine another that would beat English’s version for insight and overview of the man and his time."
The Gazette

"John English’s terrific new biography of the former prime minister, Just Watch Me, is about as complete an account of Mr. Trudeau’s love life as we are likely to get."
Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail

"[Trudeau] was a comet across our heavens, and English does him good justice."
Winnipeg Free Press

"Shows Trudeau’s private and public sides intersecting poignantly. . . . A prime example of an intensely self-aware man’s quest for fulfillment in every compartment of his complex life."
Maclean’s

"However many Trudeau books there may be, English reminds us that the man endures and eludes."
The Daily News (Nanaimo)

"Every life is a whole, and English treats Trudeau’s prime ministerial career as a whole to an extent none of his predecessors did."
Paul Wells, Literary Review of Canada

About the Author

John English is Professor of History, University of Waterloo. Citizen of the World was a multi-award winner and a Globe and Mail Best Book.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada; Reprinted edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676975232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676975239
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As many others more famous and eloquent than I have said, this book is probably the best biography written on Pierre Trudeau's ascent to the position of prime minister and his gentle paddling into the new world afforded by his retirement. I was especially glad to see so much written about Margaret Trudeau, as few previous Trudeau biographers covered a person who, for better and for worse, was far more important to Trudeau's life and his time as prime minister, than too many want to realize. The sourcing is immaculate and the quotes quoted are often biting, laudatory, and concise. Wonderful. Cannot recommend it enough.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a thorough and sympathetic review of Pierre Trudeau's years in power starting from 1968 (less than 40 pages of the book are concerned with the years after 1984).

Mr. English covers the tumult of this era from the short honeymoon of Trudeau-mania to his vehement opposition to the Meech Lake Accord. His biography puts to rest the myth that Trudeau was merely an image. While it is true that Trudeau knew how to project himself to the media - he was a complicated and captivating individual. For many Canadians during this time he was a positive counterpoint to our dominant U.S. neighbour immersed in the Vietnam War, with their cities in turbulence and Nixon harried out of office. In contrast to Nixon it was Trudeau who intimidated the press. No politician of this era in the democratic world stood up to his adversaries as Trudeau did. As the author points out - during the Trudeau years the question of "who speaks for Canada" was easy to answer. In a country, like Canada, always be-fuddled by perennial power struggles between the provinces and the federal government, it could be said to be necessary to have leadership at the helm in Ottawa.

At over 600 pages this is a detailed portrait. The author does bring out alternative viewpoints on many of the issues like the October crisis, the failed constitutional talks and the patriation of the Canadian constitution. He also analyzes issues from a retrospective viewpoint - for instance after the October Crisis separatism in Quebec became a democratic process instead of being propelled by violent terrorist acts. The author also illustrates well Trudeau's capacity to plough ahead.

We get a vivid picture of a man who was a wonderful father, but had a rocky relationship with his wife Margaret.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pierre Trudeau was bright, forceful, flamboyant, a visionary, and had a clear headed view of Canada - and how to build a better nation. Like all of us, he could also be venial and petty. John English, I think, gives us an insightful and honest account of Pierre Trudeau and his times.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting.. and intelligent...but too much information....and heavy. It could have been a thinner book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very well written - once you get started, you won't want to put this down...
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